01 Mar 2021

EUCOMS in Australia

On Friday February 26 Rene Keet met the ambassador of EUCOMS in Australia Ivan Frkovic, He is the mental health commissioner in Queensland in the Northeast of Australia, a state with 5.5 million inhabitants. Many of them live in the greater Brisbane area i.e. south-east Queensland, yet the state is huge, going all the way up to subtropical Cairns and it has small rural remote areas in the west. Challenges for mental health in Queensland are the development of community mental health and a new front door for accessing services outside the hospital environment. Australia also experiences fragmentation, duplication and siloing  between state and federal government services. He describes his role as a stewardship role, driving reform in mental health, addiction services and suicide prevention. His commission also has a strong focus on promotion, prevention and early intervention. Specific focus is this area includes the development of support and early intervention for vulnerable families i.e. for children in the first 2000 days; build on the headspace model to provide early intervention for adolescents and young people; enhance the social and emotional wellbeing of the first nations people; and incorporate mental health into the educational system. His aim is to support the transition from a hospital based care to a community based approach and he believes that collaboration with EUCOMS can support this process.

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